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Rhubarb Basil White Sauce Pizza

While growing up, I remember enjoying fresh produce from the garden. We often exchanged excess produce with the neighbors, who also kept a garden. Outside the garden, in the western part of the yard, there was a patch of hearty rhubarb that popped up every year. I love rhubarb, but for the life of me, I cannot recall any recipes we used it in. Though, I do remember a plethora of uses for the garden zucchini, sweet and savory.

Last summer I started entertaining the thought that rhubarb could be savory. Around the same time, I was trying out lower lactose “alfredo” sauce recipes. This recipe really came together as a result of those interests.

The rhubarb is sautéed with fresh green onions giving it a zippy it’s-summer-and-the-produce-is-rockin’ vibe. The alfredo sauce, basil and mozzarella cheese create a level of comfort. Finally, a bit of tang with crumbled goat cheese to top it all off.

In the time since I posted my last pizza recipe, I have changed my favorite crust recipe. This crust is a bit more tender while still being flavorful, even when adding in some wheat.

Hope you get a chance to give this recipe a try. Be sure to tag MamaSparrow on social media with pictures of your recipe results. Have a great holiday weekend!

Rhubarb Basil White Sauce Pizza

Serves 2 slices or 1/4 of a pizza round

Rhubarb Basil White Sauce Pizza

Sauteed rhubarb and fresh green onions over alfredo sauce and basil. Tangy goat cheese and mozzarella cheese top off this cozy, spring pizza.

42 minPrep Time

18 minCook Time

1 hrTotal Time

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Ingredients

    Crust
  • New Crust Recipe
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pack active dry yeast (also ok to use instant, let sit 15-20 mins instead of the 30 - 1 hr)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour, divided, I like a mix of wheat and all-purpose
  • Olive oil or melted butter (optional)
  • Garlic salt (optional)
  • Cornmeal dusted on baking pans
  • Toppings
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 2 cup rhubarb, chopped
  • 6 green onions, finely sliced
  • 16 oz of alfredo sauce*
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, sliced or crumbled
  • 3 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast, 1 cup flour and sugar. Let sit covered 30 minutes to 1 hour if using active dry yeast. For instant yeast, let sit 15 - 20 minutes.
  2. Uncover the bowl and mix in the salt. Add 1 ½ cup cups of flour measuring in 2 Tbs. at a time. Mix. Sprinkle the last ½ cup of flour onto a lightly floured surface and shape the dough into 2 pizza rounds. Bunch the dough around the edges to form crust. Spread dough rounds with olive oil or melted butter and sprinkle with garlic salt, if desired.
  3. Dust baking pans with cornmeal before placing dough on them.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degree F.
  5. While the oven warms, start cooking the toppings. Warm the olive oil in a saucepan over medium low heat. Toss in the green onions and warm a couple of minutes. Add the chopped rhubarb to the pan with the onions and warm for another couple of minutes. Pull the pan off the heat and set aside.
  6. Top the crust with the sauce. Evenly spread the onion rhubarb mix over the sauce. Spread the chopped basil for the next layer. Finish the pizzas topping with cheese and garnish with fresh basil leaves.
  7. Eating Now
  8. If eating immediately, bake at 425 degrees F for 10 - 15 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is golden.
  9. Freezing for Later
  10. If freezing for later, set pizza on a cooling rack to allow crust to cool completely. Prepare the pizza for freezing by wrapping in plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil. Mark the wrapped pizza before placing it in the freezer.
  11. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place frozen pizza on baking sheet or foil. Bake 15-25 minutes, until crust browns and cheese is bubbly.

Notes

*I used a homemade cauliflower alfredo sauce. http://leelalicious.com/healthier-cauliflower-alfredo-sauce/ It is healthier and has less lactose. The recipe easily converts to a dairy free/vegan sauce.

7.6.5
68
https://mamasparrow.com/2017/05/25/rhubarb-basil-white-sauce-pizza/

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Galets – Fry Bread

I was in Missouri for the first time. It was by accident. We were returning from Iowa, driving back into Chicago. There must have been a patch of highway without network connection and the phone maps dropped. My husband and I were in deep conversation and did not notice until he saw the “Welcome to Missouri” road sign. We easily added two hours to that trip.

As we drove back the correct direction, I noticed a scenic area with a river running and rustic homes. I recall a sign for Lost River. I am hoping to look up more information about the place because it was beautiful.

This got me thinking more about perspective. Sometime our destination becomes so important to us that we ignore the meaning in the journey. Tomorrow night is my final presentation for my master’s degree. It is a fantastic destination, reaching this milestone. I would miss out on a lot if I did not recognize the journey that has gotten me here – especially the time spent staying at home with the boys while completing my studies. Time with the little boys is wild, lively, and demands a constant state of remaining in the present. Respecting all of this experience, I cannot find a way to separate the journey of studying, being present with my boys, and completing this degree. My time with the boys has been my lost river – my expected journey.

Back to the reason we were on the road to begin with, we had just visited my in-laws. My other mom is the one who gifted me the adorable bee themed honey pot from the pictures in this post.

The recipe I am sharing with you today is for fry bread. This is a treat that my great-grandmother would make for us, and later my mother. It is a quick bread recipe that finds it’s origins and broad use in Native American cooking. The dough is fried and then covered in sweet or savory toppings. As a child, I usually enjoyed these covered in melted butter and granulated sugar. Recently, I have made them for my family to cover with chili, tacos, or jam and honey. In these pictures, the bread is covered with vegan orange curd and drizzled with honey.

Below is the recipe. The base recipe for these is vegan and can be topped with a variety of vegan sweet and savory options, as well.

Serves 1 piece of bread

Galets – Fry Bread

Fry bread with a slight crisp to the outside and tender inside. This quick bread is fantastically versatile. Top with your choice of sweet or savory - taco, chili, honey, jam, curd...it's up to you.

10 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar (for savory use) or 3 tsp sugar (for sweet use)
  • 1 ⅓ cup warm water
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Fill a skillet with enough oil for the bread to not touch the bottom of the pan. Turn oven to medium high heat.
  2. Mix dry ingredient. Make a well in the center and slowly add the water. You many not use all the water, just add enough to get a shaggy dough. Mix until well combined with a wooden spoon. Let the dough rest for 2 minutes.
  3. Separate the dough into 8 pieces onto a floured surface. Sprinkle flour over the dough and form to a thick circle. Don’t overwork the dough.
  4. Place the dough, one at a time into the pan setting them away from yourself so as to splash the oil. Cook 2 minutes on each side. If you have space, you could cook 2-3 at a time.
  5. Place cooked bread onto a rack to allow excess oil to drain.
  6. Add toppings while the dough is warm.

Notes

Topping Ideas

Sweet:

Butter and granulated sugar

Honey and jam (honey fig jam is awesome)

Maple syrup

Savory:

Taco

Chilli

Vegetable heavy hot dish

7.6.5
78
https://mamasparrow.com/2017/02/28/galets-fry-bread/

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Vegan Orange Curd

One of the fantastic things about living in the city is accessibility to rich cultural experiences. Yesterday, we had a family trip to the Chicago Cultural Center to attend the Chinese New Year Celebration. It was a beautiful display of dance, martial arts, and music.

No surprise, the boys were very taken with the dragon dance and martial arts dancing. There was much reenactment throughout the rest of the afternoon. I can now claim the skill of reading textbooks while chanting a drum rhythm.

Today, as we enjoyed a snack of vegan blood orange curd spread on fresh baked biscuits, we recounted our favorite parts of the performances yesterday. The tales were movement filled. The snack was well accented with the subtly sweet orange curd. This curd spread was silkier in mouth feel than the creaminess of an egg and butter version. It a delightful, lighter alternative to traditional curd.

This last round I used blood oranges and the color of the cream is so lovely. The process is rather simple. Slice and juice your citrus. Reduce the juice to heighten the flavor. Zest in an orange peel to get a hint of sweet, floral aspect. Then sweeten with your choice of sweetener. In a measuring cup, dissolve cornstarch in cold milk before adding to the juice. Warning: be vigilant while stirring because the cream will thicken very quickly. Once it does, it ready to remove from heat, cool, and store or use immediately.

Curd is a multi functional spread that is delicious on biscuits, cookies, crepes, cakes, and more. Even by the spoonful, no judging here.

Hope you have a chance to try this recipe soon. I’d love to see the results. Be sure to tag MamaSparrow on social media.

Enjoy!

Vegan Orange Curd

Yields 1 generous cup

Silky vegan orange curd. Flecked with the subtle floral sweetness of orange zest. Curd is a multi functional spread that is delicious on biscuits, cookies, crepes, cakes, and more.

10 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3-4 oranges; blood oranges produce a lovely color)
  • ¾ cup non-dairy milk
  • 3 Tbs. cornstarch
  • ½ cup sugar or ¼ cup honey for non-vegans
  • Zest of one orange

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, reduce the orange juice to about half the volume.
  2. While the juice is reducing, measure the milk in a liquid measuring cup. Whisk the cornstarch in the milk till it dissolves. Set aside.
  3. Once the juice is reduced, add in the sugar and zest. Stir just until the sugar dissolves. Add the milk mixture to the saucepan and use a spatula to mix. Keep on medium-low heat and mix constantly until the texture thickens quickly. If the mixture starts to bubble before thickening, reduce the heat slightly. Once it does thicken, it will be very sudden so stay with you pan. Once the mixture is thickened remove from heat and allow to cool enough to store in a jar or use immediately.
  4. Curd will store in the refrigerator for 1 week or freezer for 3 months. Some settling will occur, give the curd a stir to re-incorporate separating liquids.
7.6.5
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https://mamasparrow.com/2017/01/31/vegan-orange-curd/

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Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

I’ve been a bit quiet on the internet front as I’ve been enjoying time with family over the holidays. It was nice to have a break from grad school classes and a chance to spend time with people who are dear to me.

One week during the holidays was particularly notable. I got a chance to meet both my new nephews born during that week. It was an incredible honor to be present at one of their births. There is nothing else in the world like the experience or witnessing of childbirth.

Overall the week we went to Minnesota was family filled as I got to visit with my parents, my sister and her family, and my brother visiting from out of the country military service. Since we’ve been back home, the boys have been making pretend road trips to see family. It’s been adorable, but also means all my reusable shopping bags are constantly filled with books and toys.

Speaking of family, this recipe is an adaptation of a family recipe I grew up with. These muffins are like a winter hope. Oranges get so tasty by Christmas. The tang of prime citrus is like rays of sun promising summer warmth. While nature bides her time in the quiet rest of winter, I’ll stay here wrapped up a blanket with fresh baked goodies and a hot cup of tea.

Consider the baking and enjoyment of these muffins part of your winter therapy. The aromatic of orange zest will melt your stress and help you feel energized. Additionally, the studs of chocolate chips throughout these tender wheat muffins will give you an extra mood boost.

 

 

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yields 12 muffins

Tender wheat muffins with zesty orange and tasty surprises of semi-sweet chocolate chips throughout. These muffins are reminiscent of winter-y days of childhood.

10 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup honey/maple syrup or ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips, semisweet
  • 1 ½ - 2 tsp. orange zest (peel from one orange)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a muffin tin with liners or silicone muffin cups.
  2. Mix everything together except the chocolate chips and orange zest. Fold in the chocolate and zest. Fill muffin cups to ⅔ full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
7.6.5
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https://mamasparrow.com/2017/01/19/orange-chocolate-chip-muffins/

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Vegan Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies

Happy Winter Solstice! We are feeling the excitement in our home as Christmas is just a few days away. My preschooler checks the tree every morning to see if Santa has visited. The boys have been busy creating holiday gifts and being kitchen helpers. The youngest loves to taste everything from a mixing bowl; even the french bread dough is tasted with enthusiasm. He then declares, “Mmm, good Mama!” If only that same zest was for the finished meals on the table.

I enjoy making the cookies I had as a child every Christmas. Breaking from tradition, it was my goal to bring you all something that was vegan and more allergen friendly for your holiday cookie plates. This recipe is just that. Peanut butter blossom cookies were the inspiration for this recipe. Tender, crumbly shortbread cookies are the perfect vehicle for combining peanut butter and chocolate. Flecks of sea salt flakes add a little bit of sparkle and bring out the chocolate taste. They are easily nut free if you use sunflower seed butter and refined sugar free.

Here’s to hoping you have a chance to add this to your baking plans this season. Snap a picture of your recipe result and tag Mama Sparrow on social media so we can see it too.

Vegan Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies

Yields 12-15 Cookies

Tender, crumbly shortbread cookies filled with peanut butter and drizzled with chocolate. These tasty treats are vegan, easily nut free and refined sugar free.

10 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

    Cookies
  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 Tbs. maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tsp. applesauce, unsweetened
  • Caramel Sauce
  • 3 Tbs. peanut butter
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbs. non dairy milk
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla
  • Topping
  • 1 oz. chocolate chips or chocolate
  • Coarse sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix all cookie ingredients together in a medium bowl until dough forms. Form form into ¾ in. - 1 inch balls - approximately 12-15 cookies. (Chill the dough briefly in plastic wrap if it is too sticky to work with.) Place on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Flatten the dough balls into slight discs and press thumb in the center to create a little crater. Bake cookies for 10 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and repress the centers with a spoon. Then allow the cookies to cool.
  2. In a small saucepan, mix the peanut butter, maple syrup, and salt. Slowly add the milk, stirring all the while. The mix should get a nice smooth caramel consistency that has a bit of drizzle to it. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Set aside
  3. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Place the melted chocolate into a piping bag or simply use a ziploc with the corner snipped off. Set aside
  4. To assemble to cookies, spoon about 1 teaspoon of the peanut butter confection into each cookie’s thumbprint. Drizzle chocolate over the filled cookies and lightly sprinkle with coarse salt.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days for up to 3 months in the freezer.

Notes

Nut free option: Use Sun Butter. Really you could use any preferred nut or seed butter. I did try pumpkin seed butter and it was not quite as tasty.

7.6.5
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https://mamasparrow.com/2016/12/21/vegan-peanut-butter-thumbprint-cookies/

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Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies

This is a recipe that has been handed down from my great grandmother. It is not Christmas in our family until these cookies are baking in the oven. My best memories of these cookies are their required presence the day our family decorated the Christmas tree. The Christmas album would be queued up, cups of hot chocolate prepared, and a plate of these cookies.

This tradition I have carried on with my own family. The copy of the recipe I have in my recipe box calls for margarine sticks. We use unsalted butter. Feel free to make which ever way you prefer. The results are much the same. The butter version requires re-chilling before going in the oven to maintain shape and reduce the spreading from the oven.

The recipe yield is entirely approximated. Much dough sampling and cookie sampling happens before I have the chance to determine how many cookies are made each time. Grab yourself a cup of hot chocolate to enjoy with these. Just try to save a few for Santa.

Hope you get a chance to make these soon. We would love to see the results. Share on social media and tag Mama Sparrow so we can see.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies

Yields 7-8 dozen

Melt in your mouth cookies

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 ½ cups flour

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the first 5 ingredients together. Then add the baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla. Finally, mix in the flour 1 cup at a time.
  2. Chill in refrigerator and then roll into ball and roll in sugar and then press out with a fancy glass bottom. Refrigerate 5 minutes before baking so cookies keep their shape.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-12 minutes.

Notes

Crisp sugar cookie with a slightly tender inside. Each bite melts in the mouth. Grab a cup of hot chocolate, tea, or coffee. Just be sure to save a few for Santa.

7.6.5
73
https://mamasparrow.com/2016/12/15/melt-in-your-mouth-sugar-cookies/

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Cauliflower “Bolognese”

We had our first snowfall of the season earlier this week. A brief glance out the back window of the apartment and I caught an old longing. It was that penchant for winter night photographs. The soft light from surrounding houses and general urban aura accentuate the starring features of winter photography – contrast and texture. It is moments like these, passions remembered and fascinations reacquainted, that illuminate with reasoned existence.

This recipe harkens memories of my mother’s famous meat spaghetti. She never made less than a crowd’s worth when cooking her spaghetti. The sauce simmered and noodles boiled. Meanwhile, loaves of crusty, french bread were buttered, seasoned and broiled open-face, till toasty and fragrant. The real secret to this vegetarian version is the spices and the texture achieved from the pan cooked cauliflower.

This pasta dish is about as cozy as they come and a sure crowd pleaser. We fully recommend an accompaniment of crusty bread. We hope you try this recipe soon. Be sure to take a picture and tag Mama Sparrow on social media so we can see the results.

 

Cauliflower "Bolognese"

Yields 3-4 servings

A traditionally meaty sauce converted to a vegetarian delight. Grab a loaf of crusty bread. This is your next cozy pasta meal.

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Ingredients

  • 2 Tb olive oil; separated
  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp fennel seed, ground
  • 1 tsp sage, ground
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp marjarom, ground
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 12 oz of tomato pasta sauce
  • 10-12 oz spaghetti noodles

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together spices and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the cauliflower and toss till the cauliflower is covered in the oil and spice mix. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the seasoned cauliflower and reduce heat to low. Cook the cauliflower until tender on the outside with a slight crunch on the inside. May take 10-15 minutes. Splash in water to speed up the cooking and keep the cauliflower from drying.
  3. Once the cauliflower is cooked, add in the pasta sauce until warmed through. Serve over spaghetti noodles.
7.6.5
71
https://mamasparrow.com/2016/12/09/cauliflower-bolognese/

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Vegan Pumpkin Cake

A few weeks ago, I began the recipe testing and planning for Thanksgiving. My preschooler came home from class singing a song about pumpkins on a gate. A witch flies by and says. “I’m going to make you a pumpkin pie.” My son requested a pumpkin pie making session inspired by this song.

Agreeably, the pie making was a blast, but he did not enjoy the taste of it. I’ve been adjusting the recipe and he’s been liking it better, but asked for this pumpkin cake for Thanksgiving dessert.

This cake is a great replacement for anyone not into pie or who had been “pied out.” Use of your leftover pumpkin gourds or puree for a tasty bite of sweet and spice. Enjoy this cake with your choice of cold weather beverage. The ingredients are vegan and icing is naturally colored from carrot juice.

If you want the complete pumpkin cake look, bake a single cupcake with part of the batter. Use spinach cooked and pureed to achieve a green colored icing. Spinach is the mildest tasting leafy green for creating a natural food hue that does not interfere with taste.

Hope your Thanksgiving and harvest celebrations have been filled with joy. Please be sure to share your results from this recipe and tag Mama Sparrow so we can see it.

Enjoy!

Vegan Pumpkin Cake Vegan Pumpkin CakeVegan Pumpkin Cake

Vegan Pumpkin Cake

Tender, moist vegan pumpkin cake. Pleasantly spiced with a little extra kick of black pepper. This makes it really stand out from the usual pumpkin spiced products of the season.

10 minPrep Time

50 minCook Time

1 hrTotal Time

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Ingredients

    Cake
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ⅔ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 14oz. can pumpkin puree (plain puree, not pie filling)
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp ground all-spice
  • ⅛ tsp ground clove
  • Icing
  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 ½ Tb. carrot juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a standard size bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar and oil together. Add the pumpkin puree, non-dairy, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Fully combine.
  4. Sift the dry flour mix into the wet ingredients in 2 stages. Stir in between each addition. Careful not to overmix.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes.
  6. Allow cake to cool slightly, remove from pan and finish cooling before icing. Mix ingredients together for icing. Adjust the wet to dry ratio based on preference. Drizzle over cake and allow to set a few minutes before cutting and serving.
7.6.5
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https://mamasparrow.com/2016/11/26/vegan-pumpkin-cake/

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Lemon Asparagus Ricotta Galette

We had the first light snow flurries yesterday morning. Immediately our preschooler began scheming up all the activities he was going to do in the snow. Much to his chagrin there was not enough snowfall for his plans, yet.

The holidays bring out the child in me. In much the same way, I get giddy for the cookie baking, putting up the Christmas tree and decorating. I would be the person putting up a tree around Halloween if I didn’t have family with strict after Thanksgiving practices for such decorating.

The great news…this is Thanksgiving week so almost Christmas decorating time! That also means most of us are in the midst of harvest celebration meals. Today’s dish makes a nice light entree or great side for your harvest table.

The recipe for this asparagus tart has my wheat olive oil crust. Its a fairly simple crust recipe that is rustic and hardy. You could always use your own favorite pie crust or puff pastry recipe. Also, no shame in saving time with a store bought crust either.

The savory of Italian spices and the subtle sweet of lemon zest create a seasoned ricotta bed for the asparagus spears. I tried topping the tart with fresh shredded Parmesan and it was the right thing to do. Hope you get to try this tart soon. We’d love to see pictures so be sure to tag Mama Sparrow on your social media posting.
Lemon Asparagus Galette Lemon Asparagus Galette

Lemon Asparagus Galette

Serves about 1/4 of the tart

Lemon Asparagus Ricotta Galette

10 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 olive oil pie crust* (recipe in notes)
  • 14-18 stalks of asparagus
  • 1 ½ Tb olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese, extra for topping
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. If making dough from scratch, make this first. It will need to chill 30 minutes before rolling out.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Prepare the asparagus by breaking off the tough ends. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and garlic. Set aside.
  5. In a medium size bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Stir in the lemon zest, seasonings and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil garlic mix.
  6. Roll or press out the dough to a rectangle of 11 x 5 inches. Pinch the side up to form crust sides.
  7. Evenly spread the ricotta mix into the rolled out crust. Top the ricotta mix with the asparagus stalks. Optional: sprinkle a bit of shredded parmesan cheese over top the tart.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Allow tart to cool 3-5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Notes

*Olive Oil Crust

¾ cup all purpose flour

¾ cup wheat flour

½ tsp salt

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup milk

Mix together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Put the olive oil and milk in a measuring pitcher; do not mix. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the liquid contents from the pitcher into your mixing bowl of dry ingredients. Mix together until a ball of dough forms. The dough should be stick together well. If too dry, slowly add in more milk - 1 Tb at a time. If dough is shaggy, knead in more flour - 1 tsp at a time.

7.6.5
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https://mamasparrow.com/2016/11/20/lemon-asparagus-ricotta-galette/

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Maple Plum Crisp

Do you know why we perceived October to have a distinct smell? There are three reasons for this phenomenon. According to Pamela Dalton, an olfactory scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. the first reason is that odor molecules move more slowly in colder temperatures. This is why the smell of dumpsters and garbage trucks are more offensive in the summer. The second reason is physiological. Dalton explains that our olfactory receptors “bury” themselves further in our nose when it’s cooler. While the olfactory receptors bury themselves in cold air, the trigeminal nerve is stimulated, says Alan Hirsch, a neurologist and psychiatrist in Chicago. A smell is perceived as more intense when it triggers both these nerves. Further, psychological expectations affect the smells we perceive. As we anticipate the smells of spices, wood burning, and dying leaves, those are the things we experience.

A week ago, we took a family trip to a local nature center. Living in a city, it is nice to have a nature area with trails and wildlife near by. The boys enjoyed running around the trails to explore. Changing autumn leaves made for a lovely scene. We got the chance to have a close encounter with the deer in the park again. This time I was prepared with at least a phone camera. She watched us from a few yards off the pathway.

North Park Village Nature Center North Park Village Nature Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The autumn has a distinct smell that I had forgotten until we were out on the trails. In the city, leaves are quickly cleaned up and discarded. Out in the woods, they are free to travel through their life cycle. The smell is crisp, rich and earthy. I now appreciate this sensory experience.

Spices are more prevalent in traditional colder weather baking. Today’s recipe combines late season plums with spices, maple and toasted oatmeal crumble topping. This recipe has a clean option as coconut oil can be subbed for the butter and there is no refined sugar or refined flour. The warmth of maple, spices and subtle floral sweetness of plums is a welcome treat on a crisp fall day.

This crisp would be perfect for a quick harvest party dessert or a weeknight treat. I’d love to see your pictures when you make this recipe. Share them on social media with MamaSparrow tagged. Happy baking!

Maple Plum Crisp Maple Plum Crisp

Maple Plum Crisp

Maple Plum Crisp

Maple Plum Crisp

Maple Plum Crisp

Serves 3/4 cup

Maple Plum Crisp – Clean

The warmth of maple, spices and subtle floral sweetness of plums is a welcome treat on a crisp fall day.

10 minPrep Time

35 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 4 ripe, but still crisp medium/large plums (approx. 4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 Tb maple syrup
  • 1 Tb wheat flour
  • 1/8 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, old fashioned
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (or coconut oil)*
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Peel, core and thinly slice the plums.
  2. Place the prepared plums in a 2 quart baking dish or 9x9 inch metal pan.
  3. Add the 1 1/2 Tb of maple syrup and 1 Tb of flour, stir till fruit is evenly coated. Sprinkle the fruit with the ginger.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the 1/2 cup flour, rolled oats and salt. Cut the cold butter into the oat mix. Stir in the 1/4 cup maple syrup.
  5. With hands, crumble the oat mix evenly over the pan of fruit.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes. May serve warm or cold.
  8. If your crisp survives past dessert, it makes a great breakfast the next day.

Notes

*Clean or Vegan option: substitute coconut oil for the butter.

7.6.5
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https://mamasparrow.com/2016/10/26/maple-plum-crisp/